Leaders from across the nation meet in Minneapolis to learn about youth violence prevention

The City of Minneapolis will host a national network of city leaders from across the country Oct. 10-12 to discuss best practices in youth violence prevention while highlighting local successes and programs in Minneapolis. The meetings and workshops will bring together nearly 60 members from the Oakland-based Prevention Institute’s UNITY (Urban Networks to Increase Thriving Youth) network who are all working on youth violence prevention initiatives. The meetings and workshops will take place across the city and include local leadership presentations, site visits and workshops.

The UNITY Network is composed of a growing number of U.S. cities that are committed to preventing violence before it occurs. Launched in 2005 and funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the network takes a public health approach that recognizes that violence is as much a health problem as it is a criminal justice problem. In 2010, members, including Minneapolis, developed a strategy approach called the Urban Agenda, which asserts that violence is preventable and calls for the development of citywide and neighborhood-level plans, grounded in research and informed by communities, to have the greatest impact in achieving violence reduction.

Youth violence is the second leading cause of death for young people between the ages of 10 and 24, according to the Centers for Disease Control. As part of its youth violence prevention efforts, in 2006, the City of Minneapolis declared youth violence to be a public health concern and formally launched the "Blueprint for Action" in 2008 with these four goals: connect every youth with a trusted adult; intervene at the first sign that youth are at risk for violence; restore youth who have gone down the wrong path; and, unlearn the culture of violence in our community.

Since 2006, the City of Minneapolis has seen some successes in reducing youth violence in the city. For example:

*Source: Results Minneapolis, Youth Violence Prevention, May 22, 2012

In addition to these measured successes, the Blueprint has served as a platform for significant systems change and resource allocation in a coordinated manner. Among the achievements:

Visit the City’s website for information about youth violence prevention.

Published Oct 9, 2012